Background The frequency of Extra-articular manifestations of Rheumatoid arthritis differs in various populations. They have been mostly found in patients with positive Rheumatoid Factor and positive ANA.
Objectives To identify the presence and the frequency of extra-articular manifestations in hospitalized patients and calculate the correlation between their presence and positive RF, positive ANA.
Methods 162 patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis, hospitalized in the Universitary Center Hospital of Tirana during Feb 2010 – May 2011, were included in the study. All the patients fulfilled the ACR criteria of 1987 for Rheumatoid Arthritis. RF and ANA were measured in all of them. The presence of EA manifestations was studied in all of them. Since there are no unified criteria for the evaluation of EA manifestations, we used the criteria from the reference.The test of logistic regression was used to calculate the correlation between EA presence and positive Rheumatoid Factor and ANA.
Results Of the 162 patients included in the study, 120 were females, 43 males. Mean age of patients 51.9 years. Mean duration of the disease 7.93 years. Extra-articular manifestations were found in 93 (56.8) patients. Their frequency was: Anemia 29.4%, Thrombocytosis 14.1%, Cutaneous Vasculitis 9.8%, Nervous System Manifestations 9.2%, Muscular Manifestations 17.2%, Rheumatoid Nodules 8%, Raynaud Phenomena 9.2%, Sicca Syndrome 13.5%, Pulmonary Manifestations 6.7%, Cardiac Manifestations 6.1%. Rheumatoid Factor was positive in 38% of the patients. ANA was positive in 35.5% of the patients. They were mostly positive in patients with EA manifestations, but the correlation was not statistically significant p>0.05.
Conclusions The presence of positive Rheumatoid Factor in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis in Albania differs from other populations (38%). The most frequent EA manifestations in patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis are Anemia (29.4%), Muscular manifestations (17.2%), Thrombocytosis (14.1%), Sicca Syndrome (13.5%). Positive RF and positive ANA were found mostly in patients presenting with EA manifestations, but their correlation was not statistically significant, p>0.05.
Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 907–927, 2007doi:10.1016/j.berh.2007.05.007 Extra-articular manifestations and complications of rheumatoid arthritis
Acknowledgements Prof. Dr. Tafaj Argjend
Disclosure of Interest None declared